Definition of intellectualism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌin(t)əˈlek(t)SH(əw)əˌlizəm/


1The exercise of the intellect at the expense of the emotions.
Example sentences
  • Neither intellectualism nor emotions such as hatred and anger are able to occupy such a space.
  • It is a well known fact that conservative republicans have an antipathy to intellectualism in political thinking, preferring to rely instead on traditionalism and some mysterious form of organic growth.
  • They are all good examples of a lively new form of public intellectualism that is not academic in tone.
1.1 Philosophy The theory that knowledge is wholly or mainly derived from pure reason; rationalism.
Example sentences
  • This theory is contrasted to intellectualism, which gives primacy to God's reason.
  • Socratic intellectualism has two significant consequences.
  • For Sartre, we should reject intellectualism, we should reject all metaphysical speculation, including philosophy itself.



Pronunciation: /ˌin(t)əˈlek(t)SH(o͞o)ələst/
Example sentences
  • Concerning the nature of heaven, intellectualists followed Aristotle's lead by seeing the final state of happiness as a state of contemplation.
  • Accordingly, if this is a compromise between the intellectualists and the voluntarists, it is a disingenuous one.
  • The intellectualist wants to stay and contemplate the burning bush, to draw it to size, to define its properties, to dogmatise its meaning and to describe the distance at which presence to or from it becomes either a mortal or a venial sin.


Early 19th century (as a term in philosophy): from intellectual, on the pattern of German Intellektualismus.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·tel·lec·tu·al·ism

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